U.S. Rep. Scalise argues CDC is ‘flip-flopping’ on mask advisory

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 10:47 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - One week after receiving the COVID vaccine, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise sent out a tweet arguing the CDC’s face mask advisory for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated. He said it only discourages people from getting the vaccine in the first place.

He narrated the back-and-forth of the CDC’s mask advisories, adding “This isn’t about science-- It’s about government control.”

Scalise received a COVID vaccine only a week ago and said it was a good time to get that extra layer of protection against the virus.

That other layer-- the face mask-- he said is something the CDC has flip-flopped on from the get-go; telling those vaccinated they must wear masks after sending out guidance they didn’t need to.

In response to his tweet, Scalise said:

“I believe the vaccine is safe and effective, and have expressed my strong support for Operation Warp Speed for more than a year, but the CDC refuses to follow the science by flip-flopping on its mask guidance every few months and telling those vaccinated that they must wear masks after first telling them they didn’t need to wear a mask. Reimposing unscientific mandates for the vaccinated discourages those who are on the fence from getting the vaccine. We should be encouraging people to get the facts and consult with their doctors instead of shaming those who haven’t gotten the shot.”

“At a time when our state is leading the country in this latest COVID-19 surge, our hospitals are filling up, our elective surgeries are being canceled, these tweets are not just political rhetoric, but become very dangerous,” said Fox 8 Political Analyst Mike Sherman.

Sherman said tweets like the one Scalise posted on Wednesday show a partisan divide in who is getting vaccinated and who is not. He said it only adds fuel to the fire; keeping many from wanting to get vaccinated.

“Protecting public health is a core mission of government. So for the CDC and elected officials to recommend people get vaccinated is a public health measure That’s not government control,” said Sherman. “That’s government exercising authority to protect the public welfare. That’s a core responsibility of government.”

But as data around the virus changes, doctors say so will the mitigation measures-- that’s science; reacting to the data, such as re-evaluating public health efforts including the recognition of breakthrough cases.

“Ultimately this virus is a new challenge. We are learning more and more every day,” said Dr. Benjamin Springgate, chief of community and population medicine at LSU Health. “You need to take the best advantage of the best available technology we have which are vaccines and masks to keep yourself and your family safe.”

Dr. Springgate advised those vaccinated and unvaccinated to strongly consider wearing a face mask when inside public spaces, around people who may have the virus, and in areas where there are high levels of transmission.

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